Chronicles of triumph

So I’ve been hunched over a scanner at work and/or nursing my new (related) hunchback. How’ve you been?

My one work-related victory was in taming the new copier we have. Seems the sucker likes to make a big-ass ruckus anytime someone asks it to copy onto a paper size it doesn’t have loaded—not the best situation, but certainly not the end of the world. To illustrate the power of this noise, I present to you the output of the typical IRC denizen when presented with this copier making that noise:

OMG teh copier is on fire!!!1 BRB

As you can see, that’s one powerful alarm. And I finally figured out how to turn that “feature” off. ::puffs chest::

Outside of work I’ve been caught up by the little banners that Amazon’s been running across the top of its front page:

you fool! you only have 3 minutes to purchase stuff for Christmas before you have to pay the last minute shopper tax!*

[*I.e. pay for expedited shipping.]

Instead of turning away and picking up lumps of coal to everyone I know (which I really should have done—I mean, how good have you been this year?), I actually placed some orders.

Inspired by the need to reach free shipping levels (this time, however, at Powell’s), I also picked up a random assortment of books recommended by my old Systems Theory and Thinking professor, Dr. King. BA 350, as the class was usually referred to, was the wildest my classes got in the college of business: the course consisted entirely of reading selected articles and discussing their contents. The goal was to introduce us to new ideas, to different ways of thinking, rather than to get us to successfully regurgitate information—the idea being that things are interrelated, and you would be a fool to not pay attention to those interrelationships. (Simple example: you can raise the price of your product 20% to increase revenue—but that might also reduce the number of sales you make. Complex example: Curatiba.)

I can’t possibly do Dr. King justice in my late-night rambling, but he was (and is) a man who was clearly in love with ideas; he’d take them from any source imaginable and piece ’em together into one giant gestalt amalgam. If the world wide web were to be represented by one human, I would nominate him.

I actually took an honors college class from Dr. King before I took BA 350 from him; that honors class was similarly structured, but the articles were ones that Dr. King selected because he wanted to read them. (The class, he said, was for him more than it was for us.) [Aside: it was in this class that I attained the highest mental state I will ever achieve.**]

Anyway, at the end of BA 350 Dr. King posted a list of books he recommended we read. He has since retired—causing me to think that his list had been lost to the ages—but the college hasn’t yet removed his website from their server, and so I was able to download a copy of his recommendations. At midnight last night. To then take to Amazon and pick through. The books that looked the most interested padded my order earlier today. Which is how I got here in the first place.

Yeesh.

[**My moment of transcendence allowed me to determine the next line in the following pattern—that nobody (including the professor) knew the answer to:

1

11

21

1211

111221

312211

13112221

It was easily one of my finest moments. Right up there with my elegantly simple disproof of a “prove or provide a counter example” problem for a linear algebra midterm, which the professor had me show to the class. Alas, I remember neither the problem nor my countexample—so y’all are spared that.]

 

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